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Johanna Wallsten

Researcher in Forage Science and Manager of SITES Röbäcksdalen.


I am employed as a researcher, but has a lot of administrative tasks, as I am very much interested in organisations and leadership. I am currently working at the Department of Crop Production Science, but was previoulsy employed at Agricultural Research for Northern Sweden (NJV) for eight years and Forest Biomaterials and technology (SBT) for two years.  During 2022 I was head of department and responsible for an organisation change where the department was closed on January 1st 2023. I have been manager of Röbäcksdalens SITES activities sínce spring 2018 and been responsible for the homepage and postgraduate education at both NJV and SBT. As a postgraduate student, I was a member of the faculty board and was vice chair of the PhD Council Board. Previous administrative assignments include:

  • Head of department (incl. undergraduate and postgraduate education, and environmental issues).
  • Manager SITES Röbäcksdalen.
  • Environmental coordinator within ISO 140001 for the SLU Umeå certifiacte and later Forest Faculty (2017-2021).
  • One of two administrators of the webpage.
  • Representative for NJV and the VH faculty in the infrastructure council at SLU Umeå.
  • Representative in the agricultural council at SLU.


I've been director of undergraduate studies and course leader for our distance course in forage production for 2 years. I have held lectures for a very diverse audience, e.g. students, researchers, advisors, secondary school teachers and farmers. Apart from teaching on our forage course I am also responsible for a section on whole crop and maize forages, and one on forage for beef cattle at two courses under the Agricultural and Rural Management study program at SLU.


My main area of research is forage for ruminants (especially cows) with a special focus on whole crop silage of cereals and legumes. Have experience in a variety of analytical methods, eg NDF, gas vitro, EFOS (enzymatic digestibility), VOS, in situ, etc. During my post-doc in the US, I worked with fiber quality on a chemical level and analysed feed and faeces for the content of cell walls, NDF, lignin, pCA and ferulates , carbohydrate composition, etc. I have also done research into bioenergy crops, both from the forest (stumps, loggin residues, young stands, etc.) and from the field (reed canary grass). My role in SITES is also expanding my research area into ecosystem research, especially biodiversity and water quality.


Received my masters in animal science in 2003 at SLU and my PhD in animal science in September 2008 at NJV. I did a post doc at the US Dairy Forage Research Center in Madison, Wisconsin during 2010-2012, where I collaborated with Ron Hatfield, Dave Mertens and Pekka Huhtanen. After returning to Sweden, I worked at SBT two years at  with administrative tasks and with a large bioenergy project. I am back at NJV as a researcher since 2015.


I am currently co-supervisor for two PhD student's, one at SLU and one at Luleå University of Technology.


Publications list: